When we found out that one of our very own ushers had been cast in Hairspray Live we couldn’t have been more proud! On December 7, 2016 Amos Oliver III and the rest of the cast of Hairspray Live performed in front of an audience of 9 million plus. After the whole exciting adventure, Amos took some time to chat with us about his experience.
Tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up? Where did you go to school?
I was born in St. Petersburg, Florida. I went to College at The Boston Conservatory as well as the American Musical and Dramatic Academy-LA
How did you catch the musical theatre bug?
I’ve always been into performing. I’ve always loved being onstage and being able to play someone other than myself. It wasn’t until I was attending The Boston Conservatory until I really understood how much I loved musical theater.
How did you find out about Hairspray Live auditions?
I found out about Hairspray LIVE auditions through my agent. (Go 2 Talent Agency)
What was the audition process like?
The process was a lot of fun. We first learned some of the choreography to “Run and Tell That” and we auditioned it. We then got called back did some scene work and some singing and then we danced again!
What was the first thing you did when you found out you had gotten the part?
The first thing I did when I found out I was cast, was run around the living room of my apartment and scream!! Then once I calmed down I called my mom!
Did you know that your fellow ushers had put together a watch party to cheer you on?
I certainly did know that my fellow ushers threw a party! I thought it was incredibly sweet and I wish I could’ve been there to share such an amazing experience/moment with them!
(See the Facebook Live video of the ushers cheering on Amos)
Tell us how you prepared for this live event. What were rehearsals like?
Well I had been training for so long for something like that so all of my schooling and education really prepared me for that. I knew in my heart that this had always been a dream of, mine and that’s really what helped me stay focused and ready at all times. At the start of rehearsals, we rehearsed 8 hours a day, Mon-Friday! And once the event got closer than we began staying longer and working longer weeks!
On the day of the live event, what was the atmosphere on set?
OMG!!! Everyone was so excited and ready to change the world!! Everyone was so positive and so supportive and they were having such a great time!
What was it like working on set with a live audience?
Working on set was actually really fun for me. We were performing for TV, but we also had the energy of the live audience which really enhanced our level of performance.
What amazing memories will you be taking away from this experience? Any particular moments stand out to you?
Every single second of this experience will be a memory that I take away! NOTHING about this I could ever forget! Every moment was priceless and surreal.
What’s next for you? What would be the ultimate dream job/role?
I am not quite sure what’s next for me, but I know it will be something incredible! The dream role job after doing Hairspray LIVE, would be performing it on Broadway!
What advice would you have for others pursuing this path?
No matter what anyone says, you can do whatever you put your mind to. You control your own destiny. I believe in that wholeheartedly.
You can catch Amos in Hairspray Live again December 26th at 8pm only on NBC!